Stepping Out from Behind the Clouds
Usually, there is marked optimism that heralds the arrival of a new year. However, this time around, I sense the surfacing of a certain level of trepidation entering into the collective psyche as the time rapidly approaches. After all, who would have thought (at the start of the pandemic) the struggle would still continue into the start of 2022 with all the continued uncertainty this may bring along its way?
With this in mind, I started to search rubrics in the Mind Section of the Repertory (1) relevant to this currently observed prevailing state. When assembling the rubrics, it transpired that the same remedy - i.e. Graphites Naturalis - was referenced time and time again - even appearing in very distinctive rubrics with very few accompanying remedies included. This confirmed my suspicion that this remedy is a significant one, increasingly coming to the fore at this time. This is commensurate with the level of emotional paralysis which has crept in by now to individual members of society, as well as the collective whole.
Graphites is a mineral remedy prepared from black lead (a modification of carbon) and belongs to the Carbon group of remedies which includes as the main remedies, Carbo Animalis and Calcarea Carbonicum, among other derivatives.
Usually, Graphites is a remedy portrayed in the domestic sphere within the context of the family dynamic and often focuses on the female displaying the symptoms. However, nowadays and within the context of the pandemic everyone is forced to review their outlook and this extends way beyond the sphere of the family and solely the female caretaker which has pertained until now.
To highlight the rubrics that are frequently observed appearing in the Mind section of the repertory which comply with the current state outlined above, I list them here:-
‘Anticipation’, ‘Anticipation, ailments from’ (where Graphites appears in black type in both rubrics),
‘Anxiety, future, about the’,
‘Anxiety, trifles, about’,
‘Beside, oneself, being, anxiety, from’,
‘Brain, weak’ (contributing to the inability to think straight),
‘Catalepsy’, (Graphites appears in black type, along with Hyoscyamus and Opium),
‘Concentration, difficult’ (Graphites black type),
‘Confidence, lacking - support, wants, a lot of’,
‘Conscientious, trifles, occupied with, (all remedies in plain type with Graphites the only one in italics),
‘Despair, trifles, over’ (Graphites the only remedy and appearing in italics),
‘Dullness, mental exertion, from’
‘Dwells on past disagreeable occurrences, worse at night’,
‘Indecision, trifles, about’,
‘Indifference, pleasure, to’,
‘Orientation, mental sense of, decreased’ (Graphites is the only remedy),
‘Restlessness, sitting, while, at work (Graphites black type along with Arsenicum Album plain type),
‘Slowness, purpose, of’,
‘Strange, everything is’,
‘Thoughts, persistent’, ‘thoughts, persistent, unpleasant subjects, haunted by’,
‘Wearisome, burdened, feeling’.
I was shocked to see how much these very distinctive rubrics indicated Graphites in its full mental/emotional picture. It is rare for a remedy to be so succinctly summed up through its rubrics in this way.
I always wanted to highlight the very significant remedy picture of Graphites - a remedy I consider to be rather overlooked. However, it did not occur to me that its individuality could be so markedly highlighted through rubrics alone. At the same time, who would have thought its picture could be so appropriate for the rare set of circumstances present in today’s rather dystopian world?
Earlier articles I have written have touched upon the subject of recalcitrance arising as a result of the lockdowns since the pandemic. However, at this stage as we enter another year, it is as if cases are stuck at this point at a deeper level. The psoric aspect of Graphites with its overriding focus on vacillation has surfaced as the most topical remedy for the current state of inertia induced by fear of infection and repeated imposition of lockdown.
The main focus of the physical pathology manifesting in the Graphites picture refers to the skin as well as female hormones and - most importantly - the microbiome. In fact, I would go so far as to say the fundamental disturbance - whatever the presenting pathology (even if featuring on the mental/emotional level) emanates from this very vital source in this remedy picture). Over the last few years, the microbiome is increasingly perceived as ‘the second brain’. (2) This is spread through the vagus nerve - conveying messages primarily in this direction but as a two way pathway. (3)
Douglas Borland, in his very early homeopathic book ‘Digestive Drugs’ speaks of Graphites being especially indicated in duodenal ulcers. (4) It is widely known that the trigger to such an illness manifesting in this way is emotional worry and upset, as seen widely in the pathogenesis of this remedy.
Moving on from Graphites, I would like to highlight a rubric which stood out while searching the repertory in this way. It is:-
‘Act, no longer wishes to, for herself, in nervous debility’.
In this rubric, the only remedy to appear is Curare. Curare derives from Arrow Poison - a plant native to the American Indians - as well as featuring in homeopathic form. Through the Doctrine of Signatures, the observer sees paralysis existing in this remedy picture on the physical level including the respiratory system and limbs, but maybe did not realize its parallel emotional symptom which so markedly hampers the sufferer. This remedy is well indicated for the older population who may still be struggling with symptoms of Covid-19 which have now become part of their chronic picture. This is especially the case if these symptoms restrict the movement of the patient and increase bodily discomfort as a result.
So, I would like to emphasize that there is no such thing as a ‘lesser remedy’ - just ones which may have been overlooked with the passage of time. It would seem that remedies such as Graphites (and Curare) are now increasingly emerging (apart from those mentioned in previous blogs) as the pandemic digs deeper into the core of such emotionally blocked individuals. This highlights that the distress not only necessarily manifests on a physical level, but markedly on a mental/emotional one. This is especially the scenario in a vulnerable case presenting in this highly challenged and compromised manner, as outlined above.
Murphy, Robin, ND., 2005. Homeopathic Clinical Repertory, Third Edition, Lotus Health Institute.
Gershon, Michael, 1999. The Second Brain - Your Gut Has a Mind of its Own, Harper Collins.
Porges, Stephen, 2011. The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication and Self-Regulation, W.W. Norton and Co.
Borland, Douglas M., 1940. Digestive Drugs, Saltire Books.